April 11, 1916 ~ FIREMAN TUMBLES INTO ACID TANK. ~ Big Crowd Watches Spectacular Blaze at K. C. Refining Plant.

April 11, 1916

Big Crowd Watches Spectacular Blaze at K. C. Refining Plant.

A blaze which the firemen could not fight with water did $50,000 damage to the blank of the Kansas City Refining Company at Second street and Garfield avenue, Kansas City, Kas., last night.

A leak in a pipe leading from the crude oil tank to the refining still is believed to to have been the cause. Nearby are boilers, and a spark from beneath one of them is thought to have set afire the leaking oil.

The flames quickly shot up until the entire sky was illuminated, the light being visible for miles. Attracted by the spectacular features, a crowd quickly gathered and the police were busy keeping the spectators in zones of safety.

The blaze begun by the spark ran along the pipe into the large brick still, which was partly filled, and then through other pipes to six tanks of 500 barrels capacity and two tanks of 1,500 barrels capacity each.

E. W. Goebel, the manager, was unable to make an estimate of how much oil was in the tanks and the still, but declared all were partly filled.

All of the fire departments were called, but Chief McNarrey wasted no effort in an attempt to extinguish the blazing oil. He set his men to playing streams of water upon a large gas tank which is a part of the plant and also drenching the office building of the company.

Both were saved, in spite of the fact that the wind was blowing the flames from teh tanks far out and sparks were flying.

Tom Gibson, a fireman of No. 2 company, was undressed by an acid bath. He fell into a barrel of "gludge" acid, used in refining the oil, and when he was able to scramble out his uniform and shoes were eaten away. he was still dressed in his underwear and socks, however, and was not burned severely except about the hands. he was taken to his home.

Most of the damage to the plant was covered by insurance, Mr. Goebel said. New tanks recently were erected, a brick still built and other improvements made.

Frank Brown, Independence, Kas., operator, at about the same time became a heavy stockholder in the corporation, which is capitalized for $100,000.